Best Management Practices

This page contains information regarding the types of Best Management Practices ( BMPs) that are best suited to certain areas along the transect from urban to rural land use. Information will be added as it becomes available.

Nonpoint souce pollution comes from variety of souces and land uses. Depending on the source of the contaminant, the pollutants can vary widely and so do the sources of remediation of the problem.

Best Management Practices (BMPs) for a variety of land uses have been identified along the rural to urban land use transect. BMPs are the guildelines and practices that are designed to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff. The San Bernard River watershed is a very diverse watershed with many different land uses. Land uses in the northern portion of the watershed are primarily rural and natural areas where grazing and agricultural production take place.

Towards the Southern end of the watershed, land uses are more suburban and residential with more impervious surfaces. The source of the water quality issues in the San Bernard Watershed are caused by nonpoint source pollution, and this can be reduced by helping to prevent pollution in the first place and by treating affected waters. Below are several categories of BMPs and examples the type of measures that could be implemented.

Water Smart Landscaping

  • Use of native and noninvasive adapted plants that require less fertilizer and little to no pesticides
  • Environmentally friendly landscapes
  • Municipalities converting public spaces to a watersmart standard

Good Housekeeping

  • Education on proper use, storage and management of household materials
  • Household hazardous waste collection days
  • Encourage use of alternative, nontoxic products

Construction Site Erosion Control

  • Use of silt fences around the perimeter of construction sites
  • Use of compost as a filter berm to contain sediments

Low Impact Development

  • Vegetated swales
  • Rain gardens
  • Green roofs
  • Porous pavements
  • Retention ponds

Types of Nonpoint Source Pollution and Land Use Relationships with the Transect Zones

Nonpoint source pollution is the result of water flowing over the land and collecting all of the sources of contamination and ending up in the waterways. Since it is the combination of all sources, it cannot be easily identified and linked to one land use. Each of the development zones along the transect are associated with particular uses and each of these uses is associated with typical pollutants.

Development Zone Dominant Land Uses Typical Pollutant Examples
Natural recreational bacteria (natural)
Rural agricultural nutrients, sediment, pesticides, bacteria (food animal)
Sub-Urban residential nutrients, bacteria (pet waste)
General Urban mix of residential, commerical, industrial oil and grease, toxics, bacteria (effluent), metals
Urban Center dense residential, dense commercial, industrial oil and grease, toxics, bacteria (effluent), metals
Urban Core densest commercial and residential oil and grease, toxics, bacteria (effluent)

Selected Stormwater Treatment Practices by Type of Development

Below are selected stormwater treatment practices organized by type of development. Most appropriate BMPs for each type of development are highlighted in darker green, and ligher green indicates appropriate, but less effective BMPs for each type of development.

Natural Reserve Natural Preserve Suburban Neighborhood Center Urban Center Urban Core
Watersmart Landscaping      
Good Housekeeping
    Porous Pavement    
Conservation Easements        
  Soil Conservation        
  Low Level Development      
  Repair/Replace Septic Systems      
    Stormwater Ordinances
Educational Outreach
    Detention Basins      
      Tree Boxes/Sand Filters  
      Green Roofs
      Water Quality Inlet Separators  

Transect Zoning Categories

Source: “Choices For Growth” TAMU-SG-05-701, P. 13, as presented online.

Transect Zoning Categories